PROVO, Utah – Behind a strong offensive performance No. 19 BYU women’s soccer moved into the second round of the NCAA tournament routing in-state rival Weber State 4-0 at South Field Friday night.
“The girls have worked really hard to get here and there’s a lot on the line,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “It’s win or go home and the girls came out and accomplished a lot of the things we talked about both before the game and at halftime. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic team effort.”
Senior Colette Jepson Smith scored her fifth goal and Erica Owens recorded her 10th shutout of the season in possibly their last game at South Field. Jaiden Thornock and Ella Johnson also had goals for the Cougars. BYU finished with 19 shots with 11 on frame while holding Weber State to six shots.
“We really challenged our forwards at the beginning of the game and again at halftime to put tremendous pressure on Weber so they didn’t have a chance to settle,” Rockwood said. “That’s something we’ve really tried to do these last few games."
Up 1-0 in the 31st minute the Cougars made a run into the Weber State area when Niki Fernandes set up Thornock for a shot that curled just inside the far post to put the score at 2-0.
In the 53rd minute, Jepson Smith received a pass from Marissa Nimmer and made a good run into the box putting the ball past the keeper to the far post to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
After Ashley Hatch was taken down in the box in the 67th minute, Johnson scored the penalty kick putting the Cougars up 4-0. The Wildcats Kellyn Johnson was shown a red card for her tackle.
BYU's first goal came in the ninth minute after Nimmer put a corner into the box and Weber State’s goalie was unable to control the ball letting it fall backwards for the own goal.
BYU takes on the winner of Denver and Colorado, which takes place Saturday afternoon. The second round will be hosted by Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla.
Cougars host Weber State in NCAA first round
PROVO, Utah - West Coast Conference co-champion BYU will host Big Sky tournament champion Weber State on Friday in the first round of the 2013 women's soccer NCAA tournament. The game will kick off at 5 p.m. MT and will be televised on BYUtv.
The Cougars (14-4-1, 8-1-0) enter the postseason on a seven-game winning streak, while the Wildcats (10-4-5, 5-2-2) are in the midst of a five-game unbeaten streak.
"It is a great matchup," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "It is important that we don’t look beyond that. If you can’t make it past the first game you’re not going anywhere, so it doesn’t matter what comes after that."
Weber State needed penalty kicks to defeat Big Sky No. 1 seed and host Portland State in the Big Sky championship on Saturday.
The only other NCAA tournament meeting between the two teams was in 2005. Weber State and BYU drew 1-1, but the Wildcats advanced on penalty kicks 4-3. The Cougars are 14-0-1 all-time against Weber State.
"Those are some of the games as coaches that make you the most nervous because the kids all know each other and there is a rivalry there," Rockwood said. "There seems to be a little more emotion on the line because of the familiarity that everyone has."
This is the 15th appearance in the NCAA tournament for BYU and is the third appearance for Weber State and first since 2005.